tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC November 10, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
tonight on "world news," getting tough. the commission created to tell the truth about fixing debt in america says the only way is shakeup social security and raise taxes. big mess. that crippled cruise ship still floundering. passengers describe how bad it is on board. veterans scam? brian ross investigates a charity promising to help heroes. its organizing hobnobbing with powerful politicians, now accused of running a heartless con. and lost treasures. images of ronald and nancy reagan, archives just uncovered. they talk about their lives, so many years ago.
good evening. it is some of the toughest medicine ever prescribed for the american company. the proposal, to taxle new taxes, medicare and social security for real. the commission of republicans and democrats created to make congress face the facts said nearly $14 trillion of debt means a painful look in the mirror and jon karl has been studying it. jon, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, diane. this is the first sere beyond bi-partisan attempt to seriously deal with the deficit, but it is also a plan that has something for virtually everybody to hate. the draft proposal was unveiled with a dire warning. >> this debt is like a cancer that will truly destroy this country from within if we don't fix it. >> reporter: the solution? lots of bitter medicine,
including a 15-cent a gallon hike in the gas tax, cutting social security payments for high income seniors, raising the retirement age, cutting defense spending by $100 billion, including closing one-third of u.s. military bases abroad, eliminating the tax deduction for home mortgages over $500,000, slashing farm subsidies and eliminating 10% of the federal work force. and that's just for starters. would it fly? don't count on it. even members of the debt commission attacked it. >> i am very virulently against that proposal. >> reporter: offcamera, another said, there are things in there that i hate like the devil hates holy water. outgoing speaker of the house nancy pelosi called the plan, "simply unacceptable." the debt commission was created by president obama but it was made clear this is not his proposal. in a statement, the white house simply said it would review the
commission's recommendations. the real problem, everybody likes to talk about cutting the deficits, but nobody wants to seriously deal with it. to dramatize the political challenge, an anti-debt group has launched an ad campaign featuring a mock candidate named hugh jidetter. >> i promise our $13 trillion debt will double, maybe even triple. i'll continue to ignore our spiraling debt and your kids can deal with it later. >> reporter: sounds ridiculous, but that's exactly the course we are now on. even if congress agreed to make all of these cuts, the deficit would be down to $200 billion by the year 2015. in other words, diane, it's enough to make a dent in the deficit, a serious one, but still not enough. >> again, this is a bi-partisan commission. what about all the republicans that ran on tackling the debt and getting real about it? >> reporter: this will be a serious test of that. because this, if you're really going to get to a balanced budget, you are going to have to
make some of the cuts in this proposal. we haven't heard yet from the incoming class about this plan. we'll be asking them next week. >> all of the criticism already today, is there any part of this you think might actually precipitate any action? >> reporter: you know, even those that were critical today praised if commission for giving a start on this, and the bottom line, diane, is, if they're going to make progress, they're going to have to do at least some of this. i would say at least some of this is going to get done if these people that just got elected talking about deficits are going to be cyril use. >> well, those are the federal deficits, jon, thank you. and there was a hard truth in one state today. california. year, bringing tuition for state residents there to almost $5,000 a year. and, we are getting a preview of what can happen when big cuts, austerity measures are deployed, in this case, overseas.
student demonstrations exploded in this streets of london today, tens of thousands of people protesting drastic government spending cuts that are tripling university tuition there. rage over hefty tuition police have been fighting here in front of the headquarters, students at some point, they took over the building. they are on the roof, and have broken windows throughout the >> because they don't listen to >> reporter: and they care
news that tuition could triple for some was an outrage. and it's not just angry coming out of a deep recession and the new conservative government is gambling that massive across the board spending cuts to everything from of discontent. miguel marquez, abc news, london. > >> both sides of the ocean tonight. and speaking of the ocean, a clear new picture is emerging tonight of the scene on that dead in the water cruise ship slowly being towed back to
california. the 4500 passengers and crew on board the carnival "splendor" have been towed into cell phone range and they are describing something that is not pretty. dark, smelly, frustrating conditions. david wright is in san diego where the ship could finally arrive tomorrow. >> reporter: as the crippled cruise ship is slowly tugged back to port, the engines may not work, but the cell phones finally do. bringing with them, a torrent of complaints. >> the fruit's all going bad and the stuff not going bad isn't ripe yet. like, it's disgusting. nothing is good anymore and it's almost like you're afraid to eat it. >> reporter: that's joey, just married last saturday, but the honeymoon came to an abrument and unhappy end. last night, the new bridegroom had to clean out the cabin toilet so his wife wouldn't have to sleep with the smell. >> it's just gross everywhere. >> reporter: the spoiled food is piling up, because the screw liner is required to discard it at port. carnival officials are now all hands on deck in damage control mode.
>> we do not like to ruin someone's vacation. >> reporter: there is some good news for the 3300 passengers. some toy lets now work. and it cold at night so the air conditioning isn't necessary. many passengers, like gordon and his partner chris are treating it like a floating camping trip. >> it's been pitch black for ooefrl days and most of those folks have been up on the decks and a lot of them have been sleeping on the decks with their plan kepts and so on. >> a lot of people are upset that there's no coffee, because there's no hot waters. cold showers is not our idea of fun. >> reporter: and the tug boat breaks down? >> well, i -- >> reporter: coast guard captain tom ferris says one of the two tug boats did break down, leaving the boat with only one working tug, called the chihuahua. >> that tug is back onscene, as i understand it now. they're getting along at about seven knots. >> reporter: at that rate, the boat won't be back for another
full day. and even then, this misbegotten voyage won't be over. carnival is madly snapping up every available hotel room and airline ticket, trying to get these people home. but diane, we're hearing now that the bar is open on board, presumably the drinks are on the house. >> presumably, yes. what a mess out there. thank you, david wright. pentagon, looked a lot like a missile to some defense experts. well, now the peng s, says, quo, we have no evidence to suggest that this was anything over than a contrail caused by an aircraft. there is disturbing new information today about the close call from that plot to put bombs on cargo planes. investigators say the bomb discovered in england was set to blow up while over the densely
populated east coast of the united states. and pierre thomas has been studying today's findings, pierre, what did you see? >> reporter: today, we got more detail on exactly what the terrorists were planning. british authorities said today their forensic investigation shows the bomb would have detonated at 5:30 a.m. eastern, likely location, the eastern seaboard of the u.s. and the cargo plane's flight plan could have taken it over cape cod and to philadelphia. what that means is that it could have blown up while flying over a highly populated air that includes boston and new york. and my sources are saying thank god for that tip that lead authorities to discovering the bomb so we didn't have plane and cargo raining from the sky. >> absolutely. that trigger was inside the bomb, right pierre? >> reporter: yes, diane. and what we're being told is that it was a timer. not something where the phone would be called. it was a timer set to go off at that precise time. >> all right, news from intelligence sources today.
thank you, pierre. and president obama is in south korea tonight preparing for friday's economic summit with leaders of 20 countries. but before arriving there, he delivered a strikingly straightforward speech in indonesia, home to more muslims united states is committed to we've done and that is what we
together to defeat al qaeda and but those who want to build must not cede ground. and this is not a task for america alone. >> the president speaking to moderate muslim nations today. and back in this country, get ready for an anti-smoking smock treatment. graphic new labels being planned for cigarette packs sold in this country. today, federal officials gave their first look at the proposed images, the biggest change to cigarette labels in history. and linsey davis reports on what they show and whether they work.
>> reporter: toe tags, cancer patients. cigarette packs are about to get a makeover. changing from this to this. >> this is a watershed event. the american people turning back to tremendous influences of the tobacco industry on policy making over the last 60 years. >> reporter: forget the fine print, the fda wants pictures. pictures that will cover half of the front and back of cigarette packs. >> every person who picks up a pack of cigarettes is going to know exactly what the risk is that they're taking. >> reporter: the united states was the first country to require health care warnings on cigarette packages in 1966. but the u.s. is now playing catchup to more than 30 countries that already require large graphic cigarette warnings. studies consistently show these disturbing images are effective at exposing the health risks, discouraging people from starting and getting smokers to quit. canada started using warning labels like this in 2000. since then, the number of smokers there has dropped about
20%. a recent law now grants the fda authority over tobacco products. and one of their ams is to tackle the 20% of high schoolers who admit to lighting up. every day, about 4,000 teens try smoking for the first time. do you think when people see this, they'll have a change of heart? >> i don't think so because kids know the risk even if they don't see it, but they still smoke anyway. >> when they see pictures like they are really going to say, "i don't want to look like that, i don't want to end up like that." >> reporter: the fda is currently considering 36 images, and will narrow it down to nine. and then the cigarette companies scare tactics are effective here in the united states. >> 2012 is the date. thank you, linsey davis. and stick awent on "world and ronald reagan at the
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brian ross investigates. >> reporter: it's a scam wrapped in patriotism, called the u.s. navy veterans association. the appeals on its website to help u.s. navy vets have brought in more than $100 million in charitable contributions in the last eight years. 99% of that money is unaccounted for. >> this is what bernie may doff did in the investment sphere. >> reporter: the address of the u.s. navy veterans association is actually a ups store on m street, and this mailbox, with a phone answering service somewhere else. >> this is the washington, d.c. office of the u.s. navy veterans association. >> reporter: authorities say the charity scam is all the work of one man who goes by the name of bobby c. thompson but whose real name and whereabouts are unknown, and who frequently alters his eccentric appearance. >> he's been operating under
these assumed eye dent tips out of the tampa area for some time. to take advantage of people who want to give to veterans organize sagss. that's the lowest of the low, as far as i'm concerned. >> reporter: authorities say a key to the scam was his attempt to buy credibility by becoming a major republican campaign contributor, using tens of thousands of dollars of the charity's money to do it. thompson then passed himself much as a respected veterans leader, meeting with president bush, karl rove, john mccain, rudy giuliani and john boehner. all of whom, like boehner today, declined to talk about the money they took from thompson. >> what about this man? the ohio attorney general says is a complete scam? >> reporter: boehner and other republicans say they have since donated the money they received to real charities. >> one would have expected that somebody would have looked up a donor to say, hey, i can't find any evidence that this person exists. >> reporter: ohio authorities have now launched a national
manhunt for bobby thompson, who failed to show up in court earlier this year and last scene in the lob biof a luxury hotel here in new york city. he is wanted on charges of money laundering and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. >> how much is missing? >> reporter: $99 million. >> thank you, brian ross, for reporting on that tonight. and coming up, could chocolate be in crisis? can cause a stroke in your brain? it's true. an irregular heartbeat, called atrial fibrillation, or afib, can make a blood clot form, here, in your heart, that can break free and go straight to your brain where it can cause a serious stroke. having atrial fibrillation gives you a 5 times greater risk of stroke than if you didn't have it. strokes that are twice as likely to be deadly or severely disabling as other types of strokes. if you, or someone you care for, have atrial fibrillation, even if you're already taking medication,
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word today that humans aren't the only ones who have to be careful in the sun these days. scientists say whales are developing blisters on their backs, their version of a southern burn. whales have to surface in order to breathe, socialize and feed their young, exposing them to the full force of the sun. and just like us, the pealer the whale, the worse the burn. scientists blame a depleted ozone later. no signs of skin skanlser yet. and, a glimpse of the future that will strike fear in the heart of chocolate lovers. there is a global chocolate crisis on the horizon. the price expected to spike in the next 20 years. a $1 chocolate bar today could cost $11 by 2030. hershey and mars are scrambling to reengineer cocoa trees so they can meet this growing demand.
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barbara affiliate stumbled on long lost footage in the about leaves of 0 young couple standing in the doorway of history. nancy and ronald reagan. sharyn alfonsi takes us back. >> reporter: decided to see what was on the old films. it was more than anyone could have imagined. >> i believe in local economy and control. >> reporter: rare footage and interviews from the late 1960s with the then-candidate for governor, ronald reagan. >> well, i hope they continue opposing it. normally, with this kind of money left over, government find as way to spend it. you have these penalties imposed at the same time that a tax -- that fly is from the other party. >> reporter: and there was more. an interview with a radiant young nancy reagan.
>> do you see each other much right now? >> no, we don't. no. and i -- that's the bad part of the campaign. >> reporter: the films are now being archived by the reagan presidential library. the director says they are historically important. but to one of reagan's biggest fans, they meant so much more. nancy reagan, writing to the station, watching these films has been a wonderful walk down memory lane for me. and now, for all of us. sharyn alfonsi, abc news, new york. >> a look back. and our santa barbara affiliate keyt will have more of footage on their air and online, coming up tonight. have a great night, everyone. when i see people trying to sell and old camry, it
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